Packers vs. Cowboys: Tale of the tape for Week 5 matchup
The Packers’ special teams are very up and down. Last Thursday, the special teams had multiple blunders that put the defense on a short field leading to Philadelphia points. Before that game, however, they’ve been pretty good, especially second-year punter JK Scott.
He has been a huge weapon for this Packer team. He has the ability to flip the field, even when the Packers are backed up inside their own 20-yard line. Scott has been a huge help to the defense this year. When the offense couldn’t get it going the first few weeks, his ability to flip the field didn’t allow opposing offenses to work with a short field.
Kicking has been pretty good for the most part this year as well. After having some competition in training camp, Mason Crosby looks pretty reliable again. He is 5-of-6 this year on field goals and has been perfect on extra points, hitting all 10 attempts. The only issue Crosby has had this year is kickoffs. Last Thursday he kicked the ball out of bounds on a kickoff, giving the Eagles great starting field position that led to a touchdown.
Kicking coverage has been less than ideal this year as well. In back-to-back games, the Packers’ coverage team has allowed long kick returns from the Broncos and the Eagles. Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga will need to get that figured out moving forward.
Punting for the Cowboys is Chris Jones. He is in his ninth season with Dallas. Jones is a decent punter, but not a game-changer like Scott is. He is averaging 44.6 yards per punt and has a long of 58 yards and has put the opponent inside their own 20 just four times. He showed up on this week’s injury report and of right now is questionable for the game on Sunday.
Brett Maher handles the kicking duties for Dallas. So far this year, he is 3-of-4 on field goals with a long of just 28 yards. His missed field goal was from 55 yards. The Cowboys have been struggling the last few years to find a reliable kicker. Last season, Maher hit 81 percent of his field goals.
Despite the coverage struggles of the Packers, I think their special teams overall is a superior unit. Like Rodgers, Crosby also has a good track record at AT&T Stadium, including a clutch game-winner in the playoffs in 2016.
All stats are courtesy of sports-reference.com and NFL.com.